Sometimes I catch myself either caught up in a past memory or, thinking about the future of what is to come, and stressing about things that must be done.
Yet here I am, right here, right now trying to collect my thoughts and sometimes in doing so, the present escapes me. Uh oh, I might have missed the opportunity to savor the moment. If only I had been paying better attention.
And what about all the good stuff we hold onto, saving it for that perfect time?
The fine china, the silver, that special outfit, those expensive shoes, the jewelry that we rarely wear….. and whatever we hold so precious, we can’t let go of. Somehow I feel unworthy to use it every day. Would it then feel more ordinary? Would I not appreciate it as much?
Sure, if I drank Champagne every day, it would lose its appeal and I would be in the poorhouse. Ho ho ha ha ha
The everyday china is good enough for me. It’s actually very nice. So why am I holding on to my fancy wedding china, which sits there in my closet? Why am I holding onto so many of my ancestor’s “treasures”? Probably because each piece holds a special significance, a story for me.
I am in the process of cleaning out my auntie and uncle’s home after moving them from their big house to an apartment in an assisted living community. I needed to help them downsize quickly and only “the essential items” plus some decorative items could be moved. It was difficult to sift through all their belongings and make the big decisions for them. Many items I hoped they could still use were left behind. So many things need to be sold, donated, recycled or trashed. A kitchen appliance still in the original box, never used. Fine china and crystal on the top shelf, rarely used. Other fine objects used only on special occasion. Wedding gift copper pots from 46 years ago never used but only displayed.
Just having celebrated my 60th birthday, I am aware that within 25 years I will be in the same situation, seriously reducing my lifetime collections. Right sizing. I imagine my sons will take some of my prized items but it seems like today’s Millennials are more minimalistic. Good for them. They prefer their freedom over being bogged down with material things. They don’t have the same emotional connection to these items that I do. Meanwhile, many of these objects become souvenir dust collectors.
In the end it’s just an accumulation of stuff that blocks our qi. We come into this world with nothing, we collect tons of things and then we leave it without anything. We are placed in a diaper at the beginning and if we are unlucky, at the end of a too long life. I don’t mean to be morbid or take life for granted but somehow dropping dead while we are still good-looking, independent, still have our marbles and are not yet incontinent is so much more appealing to me. Give me a shorter and richer life than an interminable long one where others have to stress and care for me. Let’s live life more fully, without encumberments.
But we really don’t have much choice in the matter. What will be will be. Death is certain but we generally don’t know when. So let’s keep enjoying each day as best we can and enjoy the element of surprise. Keep a good attitude and remain flexible. Flexibility of mind and body.
So for now, if I don’t get hit by a bus I can still enjoy my life and lighten my burden by letting go. As I read this little book: Feng Shui, I am reminded that ….
Once I have determined the time is right, I will allow someone else to enjoy my collections. I can’t hold onto them forever.
Karen Kingston, author of Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui is so right when she writes:
“Life is a constant change. So when something comes into your life enjoy it, use it well, and when it’s time, let it go. It is that simple. Just because you own something, it doesn’t mean you have to keep it forever.”
I like the idea of gifting something to someone else who can use it and knowing it has gone to a good home.
“Your body is the temporary temple of your soul. What you keep around you in the extended temple of your home needs to change as you change and grow, so that it reflects who you are.” Karen Kingston
“People hold onto their clutter because they are afraid to let go– afraid of the emotions they may experience in the process of sorting through that stuff.” Karen Kingston.
Well it took me 25 years to let go of my wedding dress. The grief from my loss of my first husband prevented me from letting go. I also wanted to hold onto it for my daughter. Alas, I had no daughter. Instead, I reasoned that my two sons would never have a use for my dress, it was easier for me to donate the dress to a theatre department where it could be used for productions.
I still have a long way to go in decluttering my home. I have barely scratched the surface. It is becoming an embarrassment to me and even though I have received two decluttering books from my sister, I have kept finding excuses. I am just too busy! Never enough time. It’s true, I am super busy.
But I need to make time for at least 5 minutes of mindful decluttering. All my piles are driving me crazy.
If I do this for 30 days, let’s see where it leads!
So I will ask myself:
- What am I holding onto this item for?
- Does it spark joy? (Hello Mary Kondo!)
- Do I truly need this?
- Who could benefit from this more?
and if I feel myself getting anxious, wanting to hold onto it for the wrong reasons
and myself getting stressed or feeling overwhelmed, I will take a deep breath
and practice some “Just let it go!” laughter.
I’ll let you know how it goes.